Have you ever had that feeling of impending doom?  Maybe it creeps up when trying something new or deciding to make a big life change.  For me, I had that feeling a few weeks ago when I learned how to ski.

Let me just say at first that skiing is a lot of fun.  Yet, learning how to ski in a couple of classes consisted of a process of working on little details.  Moving a leg just slightly over to make a sharper turn, leaning forward on the skis when I need to slow down, and learning to be on alert while on the slopes were all engraved into me.  Even when I wanted to blast down the hill as fast as I could, it was necessary to go through the training first to get a handle on the art of skiing.

Developing habits
The habits I was forming in both sessions helped me when I was out on the slopes on my own.  Each little habit would contribute to better technique and a better experience each and every run.  Little things that might not have been important in my mind helped, even when they seemed counterintuitive.  For example, leaning forward in the skis when I needed to slow down seemed so awkward.  Yet putting my weight forward on the skis did help me slow down.  Little habits and patterns worked well for me when I implemented them and worked on them consistently.  It became more like second nature each time down the hill.

Confidence over fear
As I was sliding down an icy slope, I had the sense of impending doom creeping into my consciousness.  Yet, as I was going down the slopes I learned that fear does cloud the mind.  The Jedi knights were right, fear leads not just to the dark side, but also to falling flat on your face.  When fear crept into my brain, I made poor choices and would ultimately wipeout.  When fear began to enter the picture and I chose to push it away, usually I was able to maintain control, even when things got a little dicey.  Pushing back against fear was the best thing I could have done, because it maintained space to make solid decisions when things could have gone awry.

Challenging myself and taking risks
Skiing brought the opportunity of challenging myself.  Like most comfortable human beings, I like to take the path of least resistance.  Trying this new sport confronted me with doing something new for a change.  Skiing with my more experience snowboarding brothers also prompted me to try some new approaches and to take more risks.  Challenging myself on the slopes made me a better skier and offered me the opportunity to have more fun.

There are probably a few life metaphors in skiing, things that I could implement into my own life.  These metaphors could be used in any new endeavor, whether it is new hobby, career, or trying to better oneself in the world.  I think I might put some of these into action and try something new this year.  Who knows what might come out of this!

What metaphors from life do you find helpful?